Balles tennis de Table
Top tips to help you choose your ideal table tennis balls.
Part one - Are all TT balls the same?
Part One - Introduction & types of balls |
Table tennis balls are available in many different varieties so it's important that you know what to look for before choosing which ones you should buy.
Well, as table tennis has been a passion of mine since 1971, I'd love to share my knowledge with you. So let's take a look at the various types of balls that are available and also see what the rules say about them.
We'll also take a quick look at the two most recent major changes made to the ball which affected the size and material used to make them.
Then in part two we'll take a look at the list of authorised balls and see what criteria they need to meet in order to get onto the approved list.
So let's get started...
But first, let's begin with a quick history lesson...
A search for the perfect table tennis ball
Ever since the game was first invented in the late 1800s, the search for the perfect table tennis ball has continued unabated.
Early versions of the game were unsuccessful because they were unable to find a suitable ball, and it was only when the celluloid ball was first introduced in the early 1900s that the game became popular.
But ever since then, the search has continued for a better ball, and different manufacturers have experimented with different materials in order to try and improve its playing characterics.
So let's take a quick look at the two most recent major changes made to the table tennis ball.
The first of these took place in the year 2000...
1. From 38mm balls to 40mm balls
Following trials in the late 1990s, the rules were amended with effect from 1 October 2000 and the size of the ball was changed from 38mm to 40mm.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) took the view that:
- The use of had increased the speed of the game and it needed to be slowed down
- By slowing the game down, the length of the rallies would increase, which in turn would make the game more appealing to television viewers, and
The second of the two most recent major changes to the table tennis ball takes place in 2014...
2. From Celluloid to Plastic balls
In 2011 the ITTF decided that with effect from 1 July 2014, all ITTF events would only use table tennis balls made from plastic.
This is a major change and one which has caused a great deal of anxiety in the lower ranks of the sport.
The ITTF have said that the primary issue is with the manufacturing process used to make the current celluloid balls.
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